Put A Camera On Your Eyeball

Google has filed a patent for a camera-containing lens.  There’s not too much information on product that may come, but Google says a possibility could be to give sight to the blind. Certainly, this development will visually be less noticeable than Google Glass, but it seems the consequences of having hidden cameras in the literal eyes of all the world is an obvious pandoras box.

I could list a hundred and one potential scenarios that might arise in support or defense of this technology, but to put it simply: I don’t believe our lives were meant to be recorded by little more than the memories an individual might carry.  Surely there are reasons for documentary, but I don’t want to live where our lives are documented persistently like how the NSA seems to monitor our internet actions.  You can’t stop the world from advancing forward, you can only delay it, but I’d like to stay in what would become “the past,” honestly.

At least everyone would learn binary, though: “Sensors on the contact lens would detect blinks and respond to commands based on those blinks.”

What do you think?

4 Responses to Put A Camera On Your Eyeball

  1. This is an intriguing idea and seems like just another stepping stone for Google’s Glass technology. To clarify however, this technology wouldn’t be able to give sight to the blind. That would require technology not yet in reach that would mess with the eye itself or the relatively unknown brain. This device is exactly like Google Glass today with the obvious exception that it would be beneath your eyelids.

    The objections you raise to this kind of technology are the very same ones that people today are raising about Google Glass. I would like to bring up a few questions/points regarding the issue.

    In an era of smartphones, there is nothing from stopping people from recording their daily life by simply holding up their phones/cameras all day. It is perfectly legal and a company has even made a huge business by filling this niche. You may have heard of GoPro. Granted it does seem kind of weird to think about being recorded by other people during your typical day, but I believe that the benefits far outweigh the discomfort.

    By being able to record what you see, you can provide an invaluable tool for catching criminals, justifying claims in the event of a car crash (dash cams), and sharing some exhilarating experiences with the world to name a few. The only worry is how to regulate such technology; nobody likes the idea of Big Brother.

    In the end, I believe that this is not unlike the short story we read, “The Gentle Seduction” by Marc Stiegler, we may be very hesitant to accept this foreign technology, but in the end we find we can experience more through this technology.

    Just my outlook on this topic!

    • I see where I misread about that “sight to the blind,” portion. Thanks for the correction!

      I understand what you’re saying about benefits outweighing the discomforts. It’s strange because I feel almost like a character inside of Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, except I long to stay in a reality I’m presently experiencing.

      I wonder if humanity could ever approve nonstop documentation of life. I personally like the concept of being able to walk in a crowd of people in New York, where no one remembers me, and I remember no one. I don’t like the possibility of humanity being lace together a string of images/videos because, wherever I was in contact with another individual, my actions had been recorded and saved to some database.

      Maybe this is because I’m a relatively private person. I like introspection to remain individual.

      I’d like to possibly be remembered for my actions, but only those of which I worked to achieve. Consider if the great minds of the past were recorded persistently. Sure, we enjoy looking back at artists’ rough drafts, letters, and in general, the fragments of life they may have lived with the emotions they may have experienced, but I doubt Aristotle or Tolstoy, or anyone for that matter, ever wanted us to have the ability to trace their life down to a second-by-second, minute-by-minute frame reel.

      The future may hold a reality where the faultiness of human memory becomes a relic from the world of the past. I think it comes down to privacy. Do I have the right to keep my actions private in public?

      What is more terrifying: to consider my credit card information would be exposed to forever-remembering eyes as I purchase a coffee at a cafe’s register, or that somewhere on a personal hard drive, my smile and nod as I say “thank you,” could be rewound and played over and over and over and over.

  2. When someone holds up their cellphone and it’s directed at me, I have a pretty reasonable assumption that they are capturing some kind of video or image. When someone is wearing glass, I just have to trust them that they aren’t doing such a thing. However, with technology unseen like a contact lens, I have absolutely no way of telling whether I am being recorded or not.

    Would you act differently if you knew everything you were doing was on camera? I think I would… and not even because I would be doing anything wrong. The way I act around others and in certain situations should not have the opportunity to be scrutinized without context at some later date, yet technologies that allow for hidden recording do just that.

    Human memory is pretty faulty, but that doesn’t mean recording everything is the way to solve it. Furthermore, being connected with a cell phone is much different than having something constantly in your field of vision. When I hold up a cellular phone, I can interact with it. I can then put it in my pocket and ignore it. These sort of rules are much different for glass (in glasses form or contacts form) and I’m not sure they are a good thing.

    Just some points to consider. Good post, thank you for sharing!

  3. Google might just start giving these cameras out for free if it doesn’t get famous and everyone hasn’t bought it anyways. Google might as well include a GPS device in the camera as well, so it will not only be recording what a person is seeing, but will also be able to record where this person is seeing this, and tag the information with this person’s profile. Then this information could be used by google to sell other companies’ products to the camera-googler, just as google is using e-mail information (within the body of an e-mail) to choose which advertisements to display on someone’s g-mail page.
    Right now, no major benefit of this artifact to the user seems apparent, while all the benefit seems to be of google’s. If this comes in production, authorities should only allow this to be used by the blind, if it fixes their blindness. If anyone could buy and use such a technological artifact, it would violate people’s privacy on a major scale. Even businesses cannot afford people with this lens to roam around their businesses, and collect their business information. Teachers cannot allow this lens in their classroom so that one can’t zoom in on others tests, and so on. It really isn’t apparent what google is trying to achieve with this.